AN ORGANISM IN RICHMOND
An Organism in Richmond is a hand-drawn blueprint-like guide to the ICA. Featuring an anonymous narrator from the past, it offers a curious adventure through the building. Deb Sokolow visited several times during construction and met with architects Steven Holl and Chris McVoy. Impressed with the six miles of tubing embedded in the concrete floors that function like veins, Sokolow envisions the building as a living organism. Incorporating the architects’ interest in forking time, the narrator has several predictions for what happens in the building. Will it be a time machine? A hub for idea generation? Only time will tell.
Sokolow also has produced a choose-your-own-adventure novella, The Architect Has Gone Missing, 2018, available for purchase in the ICA Shop.
An Organism in Richmond, 2017
Offset print on uncoated paper Courtesy of the artist and Western Exhibitions, Chicago
Graphic Design: Sandy Wheeler (VCUarts, Department of Graphic Design)
“Since Steven Holl’s inspiration for the ICA comes in part from writer Jorge Luis Borges’ playfulness with time and multiple outcomes, I decided it would be a fitting challenge to create a visitor guide for the ICA that would also play with these elements.” –Deb Sokolow
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AS AN ARTIST?
I am always curious. People’s lives, politics, architecture, history- it’s all fascinating to me, especially when these things seem particularly mysterious and complicated. As a kid, I would question why one neighbor might use an excess amount of wood chips in the side yard or why another neighbor would never use the front driveway, preferring to park the car several houses away. Making narrative drawings provides an excellent excuse for speculating and engaging in detective work.
WHAT DOES THE WORD “DECLARATION” MEAN TO YOU?
To me, “declaration” within an exhibition context means setting up space to allow for multiple voices and viewpoints. I think of this experience as complex and layered, and akin to my desire to write a non-linear story that can have multiple outcomes.
Born 1974, Davis, California; Lives in Chicago, Illinois
Deb Sokolow is a conceptual artist who launches investigations that interweave fact and fiction and speculate on the histories of mysterious subjects. Her work incorporates drawing, collage and text that culminate in large-scale installations, works on paper and panel, and artist books. Recent subjects have included Frank Lloyd Wright, David Copperfield, and the CIA.
Sokolow received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Select solo exhibitions: The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut (2013); Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2012); The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri (2008); and The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Illinois (2005). Select group exhibitions: Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Missouri (2015); the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2014); Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona (2014); The Drawing Center in New York City (2013); and Smart Museum in Chicago, Illinois (2009). Collections include: Los Angeles County Museum of Art in California, The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Thomas J Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Awards include: Artadia award (2012).